First Mayoral race in eight years, Surles runs for Muir’s position
Incumbent Thomas Muir has filed to run for another term as City of Sanger Mayor, but he’ll face opposition this year, as Phillip Surles has also filed for the seat. This marks the first election for Mayor in eight years. The deadline to file was Friday for Mayor, City Council and School Board.
“As the current Mayor, I appreciate the opportunity to serve and make a positive contribution to the long-term future of our community. The betterment of our community carries a high personal priority,” said Muir. “Consequently, I give heavy weight and commitment to the decisions we face as a city council, including those decisions that have immediate impact and those that set the strategic direction of the City. “Sanger is blessed and I have personally been blessed to serve alongside excellent city council members, city staff, and city boards over my years of service. All of these individuals show similar commitment to our community,” Muir said. “Many of them have been long-time residents and I believe all of them have the community at the heart of their motivation. This is what makes the Sanger community truly unique.” Surles is currently on the Sanger Planning and Zoning Board. “I am a loving husband to Ashley Surles, and proud father of two sons ages 2 and 1,” Surles, who is originally from Red Oak, Texas, said. “I have lived in Sanger since April 2015, I love our town and I’m excited to see it continue to grow.” In 2013, he graduated from DeVry University with a Bachelor of Science in Technical Management with a concentration in Accounting. In 2016, he changed careers from accounting to commercial real estate brokerage with KW Commercial.
Surles listed a few reason why he is running for mayor: “1. I care deeply about our community, and I believe our city is on the verge of economic expansion. 2. Some of our most visible streets while driving through town are riddled with potholes and generally failing. I believe we can do better. 3. The current government has become stagnant, elections have been cancelled, consistently low community turnout to council meetings. It’s time to get excited about Sanger! 4. The first mayoral race in 8 years can help put a spotlight back on Sanger, and push Sanger to the forefront for new development. 5. Sanger is my sons hometown, I want to make sure it’s one that everyone can proud of.” “I want to encourage more residential growth and commercial development, better maintain streets in our existing neighborhoods, and most importantly, drive more community engagement,” Surles added. Muir’s main reasons for seeking re-election as Mayor: “A love of this community motivates my service. Many know that I have lived in Sanger my entire life. In my opinion, there is no better place for a person to be born, raise a family, invest time, retire, and live out their life. Whether a person is brand new to Sanger or has lived here decades, I hope each one senses the level of personal community we share and offer to each other. As individuals, we are called to serve God and serve our neighbors. While this is a challenging task that I certainly do not carry out perfectly, it is at the core of my beliefs and motivates me to give time back to our community.” “On a practical level, our town faces the potential for significant growth; you are already seeing this as you look around. With growth, often comes “growing pains.” Our community must balance the need to continually to invest in the infrastructure to meet the demands of this growth, while not overburdening taxpayers,” Muir said. “To accommodate the current and coming growth, we have set out longer-term improvement plans in the many areas of government. Most recently, we have added a new water well to ensure adequate supply and local control of this key resource. We are undergoing a major update of our waste water treatment plant that has been in the design and planning stages for multiple years and is now under renovation. We have significant thoroughfare projects underway and have a prioritized plan for longer-term road improvement,” Muir said. “Our police, fire, electrical, and other departments all have longer-term equipment and personnel plans designed with the goal of meeting the needs of Sanger’s residents into the future. “During this upcoming election, Phillip Surles has decided to also pursue the office of Mayor,” Muir said. “I am appreciative of anyone desiring to serve our community. I suspect that he shares my passion for our town and I look forward to the opportunity to see our election process in action and appreciate each person’s vote. Again, thank you for the privilege of serving Sanger.” City Council Place 2, held by Gary Bilyeu, and Place 4, held by Allen Chic,k are the two city council seats up for election. Both incumbents filed for another term. Joe Falls filed last week and is bidding for Place 2. Chick (Place 3) is unopposed. In the school board May election race, Places 2 and 3 are up for election. Place 2 incumbent is Ann Marie Afflerbach and she won’t have a opponent. Russel CeBallos is the incumbent for Place 3. He has decided not to continue on the school board and endorsed Sarah York. Jackson Sweet and Sarah Peers York are the candidates for Place 3. Early voting for the local elections will take place in April. The Sanger News will publish Election Profiles of each candidate during that time.